How to Choose the Best Hydration Pack for Running Half Marathon

How to Choose the Best Hydration Pack for Running Half Marathon

There are many hydration packs with varying designs and features in the market today. For that reason, I don’t think it’s very likely that you’ll just happen to find the best hydration pack for running half marathon lying around. You have to put a bit of effort into research to get the one that works best for you.

If you’re thinking of saving yourself the trouble and just powering through, you might want to think again. This is because despite being at least fifty percent water, our bodies still need proper hydration to survive. This is especially true when carrying out physically strenuous tasks like running a marathon.

Thankfully, in this guide, I’ll be walking you through the most crucial information about the best hydration pack for running half marathon. In the end, you’ll have everything that you need to know about the half marathon hydration pack. Alongside that, I’ll leave you with a few choices if you’re looking to make a purchase.

Top Three Picks

Before I even go on talking about the best hydration pack for running half marathon, I’d like to give you a sneak peek into my favorites. These three are my top-rated hydration packs for runners:

  1. TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack

It is light and easily carried around. Alongside that, the 2L water reservoir can last you just long enough. Finally, the pack is great for running, hiking, and a host of other activities.

  1. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

What this pack brings to the table, among others, is its 2L reservoir. Alongside that, it introduces comfort through its breathable shoulder straps.

  1. SKL Hydration Pack

The third here is quite big on delivering excellent service to you. Apart from the standard 2L bladder, it is leak proof. For hygiene, it has a dust cover for its mouthpiece. Finally, you can always get a refund if you don’t like it.

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What is a hydration pack?

Naturally, people use regular backpacks for transporting luggage. More often than not, you’d have clothes, gym equipment, camping gear, etc. Inside a regular backpack. For hydration with one of these, the best-case scenario is a water-bottle pocket on the side to transport your much-needed h2o.

However, when you’re in a marathon, you really might not have so much time to stop, uncap a bottle, and have a drink. This is where a hydration pack comes into play. It is a special hydration system that you can either carry on your back or on your waist. The singularity of purpose makes it relatively light. Thus, you wouldn’t have to worry about the extra weight slowing you down. It often has a tube attached to a bladder or a water reservoir. As such, you can simply grab the tube, put it in your mouth, have a sip, and stay on the road. You wouldn’t need to stop or slow down in the process. It is just as efficient as it is convenient.

What are the things to keep in mind before getting a hydration pack?

Hydration packs are simple enough. Put them on your back/waist and get on the road. True as that may be, it only applies if you have gotten the one for you already. Otherwise, before you get one, if you want to get the value for your money, I’d advise that you consider a few things first. They are:

  1. Purpose of the pack

Now, the primary purpose of a hydration pack is to quench your thirst while you’re on the move. There’s no dispute about that. However, there are different kinds of activities that require you to be on the move. Among others, you have skiing, running, cycling, hiking, etc. All these activities require varying levels of work from you. Unfortunately, if you are carrying the wrong hydration pack, you wouldn’t be doing yourself much of a favor.

As such, you should consider the main reason you want a hydration pack. If you need it to ski, you should go for Snowsports hydration packs. They help to keep your water from freezing in the process. If you need hydration for a short adventure where you’re not taking a lot of gear, a hydration waist pack would be a heck of an idea. In the same vein, if you need a pack for running, go for runners’ pack.

  1. How well it fits

Another thing you should consider before getting a hydration pack, even if it’s a Nathan hydration pack, is how well the pack fits. The last thing you want is a hunk of fabric and plastic swinging every which way or hugging you too tight while you’re running. So, before making a purchase, check the measurements and compare them to your body. The two most important places to check are your torso and your hips.

For your torso, you want to measure your torso length and ensure it is in accordance with the hydration backpack’s dimensions. Alternatively, you can go for a pack with suspensions that are adjustable at the torso. This makes it much easier to accommodate whatever size you are. For your waist, there’s not a lot to worry about. This is because the hip belts on hydration packs can fit varying hip sizes from 20 to 40 inches and more. 

In addition to all these, some packs are specifically for women to accommodate the physiological differences between the genders. They often have shorter torso dimensions than male packs. In the same vein, if you need a size for a much younger individual, you can go for hydration packs specifically made for youths.

  1. How much it can carry

Another important thing you must consider is the capacity of your pack. Most hydration packs range from 5 liters to 50 liters in carrying capacity. To decide what size you want, you can make a quick mental list of all the things you’ll need on your trip. 

Remember that water transportation is their primary purpose. However, some have space for extra gear, too. As such, consider how long you’ll spend on your trip and how many things you’ll need. All these would come in handy when you’re trying to decide which size to go with.

However, and I must mention this, if you are getting the backpack to run a marathon, always go for something light. Five liters should do just the trick. It’ll have enough space for water as well as a few essential things like your keys or a few energy bars.

  1. Extra features

Honestly, we all want a few special features when we get a product. For me, it makes me think, “hmm, that’s money well-spent.” As such, if you’re going for a hydration pack, look for a few extra features. 

Among others, some have a rain cover which helps to prevent getting drenched even in the rain. Additionally, there are cold-weather features such as insulated tubes and reservoirs to keep things warm and comfortable. For hygiene, some reservoirs come with a wide-mouth opening. This makes it easier to reach into them with a sponge and clean it out. A few others include clips, tube portals, bite valve shut-off switch, etc. All of these can be very useful under different circumstances. So, it’s useful to keep an eye out for them.

What are the best hydration packs for running half marathon?

Now, you know what a hydration pack is. Additionally, you know what to look out for if you are going to buy one. At this point, the chances are that you want or need to get for your next marathon. Truthfully, there are a lot of them out there. However, they can’t all be the best. As such, I did my research and found seven of the best hydration packs you can use. They are:

  1. TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack 

The TETON Sports TrailRunner is the first hydration pack on this list. It offers multiple features that are pretty useful when you’re running. Alongside that, it comes with a sleek, lovable design that’s fit for men, women, and even children. 

The backpack comes along with a 2-liter bladder. This means it can hold twice the amount of water you probably drink on a regular day. As such, you don’t have to worry much about running out of fluids during your run. The bladder is connected to a tube that is lightweight and durable. The tube has a bite valve that helps you close it conveniently when you’ve had a nice sip. 

The backpack has a 5cm-wide opening to ensure that you do not face too many challenges while cleaning. In addition to that, it has a whistle for safety and security. If you accidentally take the wrong turn, simply blow the whistle and let the team find you.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 2 x 9.5 x 16 inches

Weight: 13.6 ounces

Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty



Final Thoughts

This hydration backpack is small, light, and carries enough water for you to use. If you need something with excellent design, comfort, and enough cleaning allowance, this is it.

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  1. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack (Best minimalist hydration pack)

Apart from their love of rhymes, as is evident in their name, CamelBak also fancies making excellent products. The HydroBak Hydration Pack is proof of that. Let’s take a look into why the HydroBak is so great.

To begin with, the pack is a minimalist hydration pack. Its bladder has enough water to get you through more than two hours of running. Besides that, the only other thing you’d find is the zip pocket where you can keep your keys and a few essentials. The great thing about this kind of minimalism is that it reduces the amount of weight you’ll have to carry on your run. Any pack with that much lightness and effectiveness can be the best hydration pack for ultra marathons.

Besides, the backpack has a crux reservoir, which gives you more water for every sip you take. To keep water from leaking out when you do not want it to, the pack has a crux on/off lever. It effectively controls when water comes out. To top it off, the backpack has a breathable harness that helps to keep you cool.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 2.6 x 7.95 x 15.2 inches

Weight: 12 ounces

Material: 100% Polyester



Final Thoughts

This hydration pack is good in its own right. Besides the shortcomings of a small pocket and a relatively hard switch, getting this pack is not such a bad idea.

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  1. SKL Hydration Pack (Best for durability)

This is another pack with the potential to be the best hydration pack for running half marathon. It has a 2-liter water capacity that’s sure to last you just long enough to complete your race. However, besides providing water, it comes with a few more perks.

For starters, it is very durable. You can see this in its military-grade premium quality material. As such, this pack is sure to last you quite a while. The best part is that it does not sacrifice durability for taste either. Even though the material is specifically designed to keep your things safe, it does not add any wrong tastes to your drink.

Apart from that, it has a hundred percent leakproof feature. Nothing gets out unless you want it to.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 2.4 x 9.45 x 9.76 inches

Weight: 16 ounces



Final Thoughts

I really doubt you’d want to be drinking booze or milk on a marathon. As such, these drawbacks shouldn’t be much of a problem for you. With that being said, this bag’s durability is not something you want to pass up.

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  1. Mubasel Gear Hydration Pack (Best for comfort and functionality)

Number four on our list is the best hydration pack for large chest. This is primarily because it has shoulder straps that you can easily adjust to suit the size of your torso. However, besides being super-wearable, I think there are a couple of other things you can get from this hydration pack.

It is super light! So much so that you can barely feel this pack while you’re running. This feature gives you an edge over those at the marathon weighed down by heavier luggage. 

Even while running, there are a few things that you need to keep on your person. For this reason, it has a mesh pocket that you can quickly and easily access. However, it does not stop there as it guarantees your comfort with its padded shoulder straps. To further give you premium experience, the pack has a padded back system that is breathable. This helps to keep unnecessary heat and sweat off your back.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 7 inches

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Material: Nylon



Final Thoughts

If you are going to get this model, be careful so that it does not start leaking. With that being said, this is still one of the most comfortable hydration packs.

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  1. Vibrelli Hydration Pack (Best for taste-free material)

Considering its features, this also could be the best hydration pack for running half marathon.

For starters, the hydration pack is completely free from PVC, Phthalates, and BPA. In addition to that, it is composed of tasteless medical-grade materials. All these mean that your water is fresher and safer for consumption.

Additionally, this pack has a bite-valve that is quite easy to lock. Despite the ease of locking, however, it is pretty difficult for the water to leak out. As such, you don’t have to worry about your pack getting soaked by the drinks you should be having. To make things even better, this pack comes with an opening at the top that makes it much easier to fill. For your safety, there’s a whistle. It’s perfect for getting attention in an emergency. 

Product Specifications 

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 3 inches

Weight: 15.2 ounces



Final Thoughts

As far as I know, the bite valve might not be able to handle the full force of your perfect dentition. As such, you should be careful in that area. Nonetheless, our fifth candidate for the best hydration pack for running half marathon is still pretty impressive. 

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  1. Osprey Katari Men’s Hydration Pack (Best for magnetic valve)

The penultimate hydration pack on our list is teeming with useful features. To add icing to the cake, it has an excellent design.

A great demonstration of its superior design is its harness. It contours at your shoulders to keep the pack as close to your body as possible. This provides stability while using the pack.

Besides this, it has a scratch-free pocket that’s useful for keeping your electronics, among others. 

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 4.33 x 1.18 x 7.09 inches

Weight: 14.24 ounces



Final Thoughts

For a short run, this could be the best hydration backpack for running half marathon. However, if you’re going to be on the road a while longer, you can explore some of the other options we’ve given.

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  1. Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest (Best hydration vest)

Considering that it’s more of a vest than a backpack, this can’t be the best running backpack for commuting. However, it does serve its purpose of supplying water very effectively.

It has a front panel pocket to store your essentials. It also has a pair of lower pockets that allow you to access your snacks easily. To cap it all is its safety whistle.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 16 inches

Weight: 1.3 pounds



Final Thoughts

This model brings us to the end of our list. Its style is different and innovative but still useful for what you need.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the best hydration pack for running?

Among all the others, the TETON Sports TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack stands out. It isn’t so heavy that it becomes a burden to you while you’re using it. Alongside that, its carrying capacity is just enough to last you the entire race without having to stop for a refill. The hose just happens to be the right length. So, you don’t have to fuss too much about using or replacing it mid-run. With all these characteristics and more, it is clearly the best hydration pack for running half marathon.

Q2: How much should I hydrate for a half marathon?

You should keep in mind that hydration efforts should not begin when you start running. You must ensure that you start drinking appropriate quantities of water at least two days before the marathon. Additionally, drink about two eight-ounce water glasses two hours before you start running. This helps to ensure that the water has been absorbed into your body. However, you must not overdo it. This is because when you consume too much water, you can dilute your sodium levels. This can then lead to hyponatremia.

Q3: How do you stay hydrated during a half marathon?

Determining how to stay hydrated during a half marathon can be a bit difficult. This is so because while you’re running, several factors come into play. There’s your weight, your speed, the weather conditions, the amount of fluids you’re losing in sweat, etc. The easiest way, however, to determine your hydration rate in a marathon is thirst. Drink when you’re thirsty and try not to consume more than one liter of water per hour.

Q4: Should I wear a hydration pack for a half marathon?

Even though it’s only half, it is still going to drain you of your energy. As such, you should wear a hydration pack. As we stated earlier, it provides a very convenient way for you to keep enough fluids in your system during the race.

In conclusion

The best hydration pack for running half marathon isn’t so hard to find if you’re looking in the right places. In my article, I have outlined a few of them that should give you a bang for your buck. So, good luck with your race!